2017 HAITI Volunteer TRIPS

Whether you are a long-time supporter of Second Mile Haiti, or you’re just getting to know us, we are thrilled that you are a considering a trip to Haiti. Reading through this information packet is the first step in deciding whether a Second Mile Haiti volunteer trip is right for you. If you have any further questions please contact us at connect@secondmilehaiti.org

Our volunteer trips are designed to impact you, our organization, and the local economy. We provide an opportunity for you and your team to work alongside our Haitian staff and experience Haitian culture. You will see firsthand how your contributions make an impact at Second Mile Haiti.

While most volunteer trips begin with the best of intentions, such endeavors can sometimes be harmful to the very people they aim to serve. With this is mind, Second Mile Haiti has designed a volunteer experience that is practical, insightful, and ethical, an exchange that is both positive and rewarding for guests and locals alike.

We commit to transparency from the moment you begin planning your trip through trip completion. We will work with you to organize safe and engaging experiences that allow you to experience the realities of our work firsthand. We commit to truth-telling. What happens at Second Mile is as complex as it is beautiful. We’ll share the joys, and the challenges. We will plan excursions that interest you and give you a broader understanding of life in Haiti.

We ask that you come with full hearts and open minds! Forget what you know about “missions,” volunteering, or charity work, and be willing to open yourself to new ways of doing and giving. We expect that you may feel uncomfortable at times and we ask you to roll with it! We ask that you be considerate and respectful during your trip especially when taking photos, visiting other projects, and interacting with Haitian staff and families. We expect that you share of your energy and your resources (see ‘Project Donation’ below).

We want you to experience and understand how and why our model works in Haiti. These are the values we would like you to consider on your trip. They are an important part of our everyday work in Haiti.

 

I. About Us

Our mission is to care for the nutritional needs of Haiti’s most fragile children, while empowering their caregivers through education, agriculture, and small business opportunities.

In Haiti, 1 in 5 children are undernourished and 1 in 10 are acutely malnourished. With an unemployment rate of 80%, and 76% of people living on less than $2 a day, parents are often forced to make difficult decisions about their sick children.

When resources are lacking, many parents turn to orphanages, where giving up their child becomes the only way to give them the stable care they need. As a result, 1 in 10 children in Haiti lives in an orphanage, even though 80% of these kids have living parents.

Many people believe that building and supporting orphanages is a great way to help children in need. But we believe there is a better way to help.

 At Second Mile, we believe that by using a comprehensive approach to treating childhood malnutrition, we can break the cycle of undernutrition in Haiti, and keep families together.

Our rehabilitation program allows children with severe malnutrition to get the attentive care they need, while eliminating potential hindrances to healing. The family stays together throughout the recovery process. Meanwhile, caregivers (moms, dads, grandmas, aunts, and adoptive mothers) gain a better understanding of what causes malnutrition, and leave empowered with the knowledge. Finally, we invest in the family’s future with small business opportunities and follow-up-visits to ensure the families continued success.

We encourage you to join our journey. Imagine what you'd do, or how far you'd go, for your own child. People are diverse, but parenthood is universal. 

II. Schedule

Your unique trip itinerary will reflect the skillset of your volunteer group and the number of days you wish to stay in Haiti. Depending on the length of your trip and your group’s objectives, your trip itinerary can include excursions that offer your team an opportunity to see more of Haiti while learning about our collaborations with other local organizations. Not sure how long to stay? We can accommodate groups that stay at least 5 days, but no more than 7 days.

III. What will you do?

Specific activities will depend on the skills, passions, and readiness of your group members. We can begin planning your volunteer experience once we learn more about you! Nominate a group leader and we can begin discussing trip details via Skype or phone call(s).

IV. Project Donation

As we mentioned briefly in the the “What you need to Know” section of this trip packet, each member of your group will be responsible for contributing $500 to Second Mile Haiti at least 3 weeks before your trip’s start date.

In addition to these individual contributions, there are many ways for your group to contribute to Second Mile Haiti during your stay. When preparing for your trip, be sure to ask us for more details. : )

V. Trip Details and Pricing

Trip Availability:

We can host 10 groups per year with a maximum of 8 spots available in each group. 

                      

Accommodations:

Basic volunteer bunkhouse – with showers and mosquito nets (includes breakfast and dinner)  --  $50/night (per person)

Transportation Fee:

All groups must pay a transportation fee.  --  $55/day (per group) 

Translator:

All groups must pay for translator   --   $25/day (per group)

Meals:

Breakfast and dinner are included with your volunteer accommodation.

Lunch will be provided at Second Mile

Other expenses:

Dinner at Haitian restaurant  --  $7-15/meal

*** Additional costs dependent on group itinerary.

 

VI. PLANNING FOR YOUR TRIP

 

Flights

There is one daily American Airlines flight from Miami to Cap-Haitien. You will be responsible for booking your own flights. If you require a connecting flight you will need to ensure you arrive in Miami with plenty of time to catch you flight to Cap-Haitien. When flying home, allow a layover of at least 2 hours in Miami, in order to clear customs and re-check your luggage.

 

Immunizations

http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/haiti

The CDC provides information on health related issues when travelling to Haiti and lists the recommended immunizations.

The following are some prescription and over-the-counter medicines that have been recommended for travelers.

Prescription medicines

-       Your prescriptions

-       Travelers' diarrhea antibiotic

-       Altitude sickness medicine

-       Medicine to prevent malaria

 

Over-the-counter medicines

-       Antacid

-       Diarrhea medicine
Examples: loperamide [Imodium] or bismuth subsalicylate [Pepto-Bismol]    

-       Antihistamine

-       Motion sickness medicine

-       Cough drops

-       Decongestant

-       Medicine for pain and fever
Examples: acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen

 

Planning What to Pack

The weather in Haiti is always hot! Also, our trips are geared around a lot of outdoor activity so please plan accordingly.

-        Casual, comfortable day clothes

-        Exercise clothing

-        Jeans, dresses, skirts, tops for the evenings and dinners.

-        Close-toed shoes (hiking or tennis shoes) for day, and sandals/flip flops for evening

-        Toiletries for your stay (shampoo, conditioner, soap, razor, etc). These may not be readily available to you should you run out

-        High SPF sunscreen

-        DEET bug spray (100% is recommended)

-        Anti-bacterial hand sanitizer 

-       swim suit and beach towel

-       Any medications you need

-       A reusable water bottle you can refill

-       A flashlight

-       Hat, sunglasses

-       Backpack

-       Notebook, pen

-       Light sweater and light rain jacket if it does cool down at night or rains

-       Electronics- phone, laptop, camera and chargers

-       Personal snacks (such as granola bars, trail mix, or electrolyte drink mixes)

 

VII. Things to Remember

We recommend cash (USD) as the best source for your general spending money. The local currency is the Haitian gourde, however you do not need to change money before you arrive.

If you wish to purchase local food and/or souvenirs using local currency we can help you change money when you get here.

If you do plan to use a debit or credit card, please contact your bank before your departure and let them know you will be travelling internationally.    

Check your expiration dates on your passport.

Wifi is not always reliable.

 

VIII. Next Steps

Convinced this is the trip for you? Want to ask a few more questions before jumping in? Contact us at connect@secondmilehaiti.org. We will be happy to answers your questions and provide you with you the next steps for organizing your volunteer trip to Haiti.